A/N: This story begins right after Sookie reads Adele's letter and finds the cluviel dor in Dead Reckoning. When I decided to break the story line at this point, there were two main plot details I felt were hanging from the original story, Sookie's phone call and her email to Amelia. So in this version, Sookie does not call Amelia for help with the wards or email her for help with the cluviel dor.

Change

Sometimes our lives change in ways that we never could have imagined. We all know that. In fact, whether we hope for it or dread it, we all know that change is coming. We may not want to admit it to ourselves, but it is. Some changes turn out to be a welcome breath of fresh air that move us away from pain or grief while others take us straight to our own personal hell. I've been down both roads many times.

However change affects us, most of us hope that we will be able to find some familiarity in the pictures we would see in our future. That's what gives us the courage to get out of bed in the morning, to face the uncertainty of life. Don't get me wrong, I know very well that life takes turns that we wouldn't normally expect or want, but we can expect that there will be some elements of continuity that accompany us into our future, right? When my parents died, I had Gran, Tara and Jason. When Gran died, I had Sam, Bill, my home and job. You get the idea. Even when my world was turned upside down, I knew that I would always be able to find a person, place or activity I could feel some connection with to help me find myself again. That's what I thought at least.

If I could have seen years or really even weeks into my future, I would have realized that I was under a gross misapprehension. I would have seen a woman and I would not have recognized my life or who I had become.

Circumstances forced me into making dramatic decisions and changes in my life and the direct results of my choices led me to new possibilities. I found that when all of those comforts were removed, the things that held me like gravity to my perception of who I was as a person, a new individual could be born…raw and scared, but with the ability to grow into a person free from the constraints of my prior identity. Sometimes that's what life offers or demands.

So much has changed as time has passed for me since I shucked the 'skin' that was my identity of who Sookie Stackhouse was. I traded one existence for another and now I don't like to look back at the old me, I pity her too much.

I have never regretted making the changes I did, but I do regret the damage I did to others as I was getting here. Hell, who doesn't have regrets to one degree or another. But if I hadn't taken the steps I did, I shudder to think of what would have happened to me…who would I be now? Would I even 'be' at all?

In breaking my own patterns, in changing the trajectory of my life, it was unavoidable that those whose lives were entwined with mine would inevitably be affected, some more than others. I always knew this in theory, but I understand it more fully now. When the pathway of my life was significantly altered, those lives that were connected to mine, swung in varying degrees of severity to be pointed toward new paths. I had always tried to avoid impacting others with my decisions. I hardly felt that I had the ability to control my own life, much less the right to impact others in such a significant way. I was raised not to inconvenience anyone, but this time was different.

I made a change that was necessary, had been necessary for a very long time, I just didn't realize it until I hit that proverbial cliff. So I made the leap and ripped away the string that tied me to everything and everyone I knew and loved, not yet understanding fully how my choices would change the whole playing field.

What lightened my load on my journey was that I was able to take my weak, beaten life string and slowly wind it around a few select others to bring mutual joy, peace and knowledge to my life…to our lives. For once, I made a choice…because it was right…for me…in more ways than I could ever have imagined.

A/N: Thanks to Melissa for giving me the courage to share this story.